On the Road to Pest Management Enlightenment

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January 20, 2015

By

January 20, 2015


It’s been a busy month of travel for this senior editor. Between the Global Bed Bug Summit in Denver, and West Lafayette, Ind. for the 79th Annual Purdue Pest Management Conference, there hasn’t been much reason for me to even unpack my bags as I’ve logged more hours in the airport than the office. (Who’s complaining?) Oh, but the things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met! In this industry, that makes all the difference in the world.

Sponsored by BedBug Central and presented by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the Bed Bug Summit is an annual event designed to provide pest management professionals (PMPs) with legal, technical, business and customer service information about bed bugs in a non-academic setting. The summit is also known as a great place to network with other professionals in the same field, and rub elbows with the industry experts on hand who make themselves available to attendees during and after sessions.

This year’s summit guests and educational sessions seemed to lack the sense of fearful urgency palpable in years past, however. While bed bugs are still a scourge, it’s clear that the past two years have seen major strides in both public understanding and professional ability regarding bed bugs. The Bed Bug Summit has clearly played a large role in disseminating the most up-to-date research and techniques to help the industry continue moving forward with a well-informed knowledge of the tools and techniques of the bed bug fighting biz, to help PMPs remain on top of their game with regard to the bloodsuckers.

Christian Hardigree

Christian Hardigree

In addition to control techniques, the summit offered sessions on managing client cooperation, regional differences in the war on bed bugs, and the legal implications of bed bug treatment. Christian Hardigree of Kennesaw State University provided the last topic in a general session that was as entertaining as it was funny … as it was frightening. (Lest you think otherwise, there are multiple pitfalls and considerations to be made when managing bed bugs professionally. Learn about them!)

Also on hand were Dr. Mike Potter, University of Kentucky, who brought attendees up-to-date on the latest bed bug research, and Dr. Michael Siva-Jothy, University of Sheffield, who offered a two-part crash course on bed bug biology and what it means for PMPs. In addition, there was an arsenal of experts in attendance who, individually or as part of a panel, shared expertise rarely assembled under one roof.

Less than a week later, however, I was off to Purdue University for this year’s pest management conference. It’s hard to believe that next year the event celebrates its 80th anniversary.

Shep Sheperdigian

Shep Sheperdigian

Ants, bed bugs, moles, termites, techniques, tools and countless other topics were explored in depth at the three-day conference. Speakers included industry legends Dr. Bobby Corrigan, Tommy Reeves, Gene White and Dr. Laurel Hansen, in addition to Pest Management Professional contributors Kate McGovern, Dr. Stuart “Doc” Mitchell and Mark “Shep” Sheperdigian. This only scratches the surface of the conference offerings, which sometimes required attendees to decide between two concurrently running sessions. In other words, there was no shortage of knowledge to be had. This is one of the reasons Purdue’s conference bills itself as “the best one-stop-shop for continuing education.”

Both events — the Purdue Pest Management Conference and the Global Bed Bug Summit — also gave manufacturers and distributors the opportunity to showcase their goods, with exhibitor halls stuffed with everything from mattress encasements to snap traps to … Pest Management Professional magazine.

Keep an eye out for more coverage of these events online and in the February issue of PMP.

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